Monday Meditations

The Right Editor

Just because an editor is good at their job, it doesn’t make them a right fit for you.

First, there is a level of trust required to take an editor’s advice. Of course, some things aren’t negotiable. For example, misspelled words or punctuation. But often, there are more than two correct ways to say something.

Every writer needs to learn when to listen to the editor.

However, certain stories or at points in your career, you may be more fragile than at others.

We are not the best at judging our own stories. Especially when we are fragile. We need an outside perspective, just the right one.

Have freedom to search for the right one.

An editor with too heavy a hand is as unhelpful as one with too light a hand. And an editor who doesn’t love or understand your story will be detrimental to how you feel about the end product.

Even if it’s a requirement from the publishing house to make a change or they won’t take it, the choice, and the consequences, are ultimately yours.

It is similar when you have editors in your life. An armchair warrior can have too heavy a hand with advice. They’ll tell you how they would handle your situation even though they couldn’t actually do it themselves and can’t fully comprehend the sacrifice.

Another might have too light a hand because they aren’t actually invested in the outcome. Your failure costs them nothing.

Alternately, they could have too much invested to risk an outcome of your struggle.

But we need an outside perspective here, too. Only, you must trust them and they must love your story in order for you to take their suggestions and critique.

So find the right ones. Because ultimately, you answer to God for your story.

Beliefs represented by individual authors are not necessarily shared by all members of ICW.


  • Hilarey Johnson

    Hilarey Johnson grew up hearing that she would be a good student if she could get her head out of the clouds. Her daydreaming still makes it possible to get lost driving anywhere. She loves characters with a hidden or unknown worth who rise up to claim their identity. She writes redemptive stories from Idaho and travels in the Pacific Northwest with her husband. Someday Hilarey hopes to time travel. She is the author of Breaking Bonds, and Dance of the Crane fiction series. She has written books and articles for Guideposts, Brio Magazine, Christian Living Magazine, local news papers such as the Times-News, North Lake Tahoe Bonanza and others. She blogs weekly about "Intimacy with God for the Over-Churched" at Hilarey Johnson is the current President of ICW.

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